I love baking!

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I love to bake. I’ve said this before, baking is something that relaxes me, makes me happy and allows me to make others happy. One day I really do wish I could open a cake shop. Spread the baking joy, and all that. I got asked the other day what my favourite item to bake is, and I thought that would be a simply answer. But it really isn’t. I do love cupcakes, but in terms of baking and decorating… they can actually be rather boring. Sprucing them up a bit by changing the flavours can make it a little more interesting. White chocolate cupcakes for example are a favourite, as are caramel.

It’s also fun to experiment with icing. Once I made a meringue topping for my white chocolate cupcakes and added little silver cachous – was actually quite effective! Cakes are fun. They’re so easy to decorate in interesting ways, make them different colours and shapes. My favourite thing about cakes is the way you can slice them in half and fill them with various filings that surprise you when you bite into it. There’s one particular cake i’ve made a few times in the past six months that has been a real favourite – dark chocolate mud cake with raspberry filling. Then smothered in chocolate icing.

My banana cake with chocolate filling always seems popular also! Along with cakes and cupcakes though, I love trying out new recipes.

Banoffee pie is a new favourite. I found a simple recipe which is quick and easy to make and it produces an incredibly tasty desert. I’m a little wary of making it though…. the first time I attempted it we were running late for a dinner party. I was trying to rush my way through making the filling and opened a can of caramel too quickly. The can lid cut my hand and the pain was incredible! Luckily I didn’t get any blood in the pie. I did however have to get taken to A&E to get my hand stitched up! My parents were visiting from Christchurch at the time so Dad took me to the doctor while Mum finished off the pie – which was delicious! (Obviously, I must get the baking gene from her!)

Other dessert baking endeavours have been much more successful. My favourites being the chocolate meringue pie and the little cheesecakes with berry sauce – actually rather simple to make apart from the water bath which can be a bit of a mission. Worth it though, they’re extra tasty!  I love baking, and I love presenting people with baked goods. But i’m forever wondering what people prefer when it comes to baking.

Do they prefer the elaborate cakes with flat icing and little flowers around the edge? With designs that are pretty and look like a work of art? The cupcakes with the towering icing in the shape of a rose that look too perfect to eat?

Or do people prefer the more rustic cakes, that look homemade and delicious. With the icing that isn’t flat, that isn’t a decorators paradise, that looks like the icing has been whipped up and smothered over the surface?

I’m intrigued to know which you would buy, if you were wanting a piece of cake with a cup of tea or coffee – the perfectly decorated cake, or the rustic homemade style cake?

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12 thoughts on “I love baking!

  1. I’m the rustic homemade cake fan – favourite would be a nice moist carrot cake, must have pineapple in it and genuine cream cheese icing! And any fruit cake that’s moist. My grandchildren are addicted to making and decorating cupcakes, you could call them rustic looking! They have only made custard flavoured one’s from the Edmonds kids cookbook, and they’re pretty melt in the mouth yum.

  2. Its all about flavour darling!
    Nothing worse than a cake that looks divine and tastes dry or of nothing. Yum to good date loaf, carrot cake, tasty caramel cakes – esp the really well done caramelised edges of tan square…..

  3. I reckon both. Depends on my mood at the time. Rustic for times when i feel like “mother earth” xcuse the cliche’. Decorated and fancy, when its high tea with the girls! Nothing worse than being let down though when its not up to scratch but a good baked treat will get me driving distance on a week end when i feel like a treat!

  4. Rustic for me – lumberjack cake springs instantly to mind. Love the caramel type of topping with coconut, brown sugar etc…
    I would like cake that I can’t be bothered making and somethat that is not what I ordinarily make for the children – being lemon yoghurt, banana or chocolate.

  5. Cupcakes so often promise more than they deliver – 90% presentation and 10% content. Being winter, I’m enjoying slightly heartier baking and agree totally with Susan below (must the name!) that anything lemony is fantastic. Sunday afternoon baking seems to be the working woman’s treat time – it’s relaxing, warming and homely. I even managed to invent my own variation on scones (see the recipe section) with pomegranate flavoured craisins and felt ridicultously pleased with myself! Such fun

  6. I like both, but confess I tend to lean a bit more toward rustic. There have been a number of times when I’ve tried something that looks visually great, and it hasn’t followed through during the taste test.

    Your cut hand sounds painful, but I’m glad the pie tasted good.

  7. I love the look of cupcakes, but they all seem to taste a bit bland. I love a hearty cake that is not too sweet. A dense chocolate cake or carrot cake or a tart lemon cake (anything made with lemon is fantastic). And don’t get me started on cheesecakes! I find a lot of the store bought cakes too sickly sweet and often bland.

  8. Zeetra – the Meringue topping is pretty easy.

    Combine 1 Cup caster sugar with 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and stir over heat without boiling until the sugar is dissolved.
    Boil, uncovered, without stirring for about five minutes until it turns into a syrup and reaches 116 degrees C (if you have a candy thermometer.
    Syrup should be thick. Remove from eat, allow bubbles to subside.
    Beat 2 egg whites with electric mixer until soft peaks form. While still beating add hot syrup in a thin steady stream. Beat on high speed for ten minutes or until mixture is thick. :-)

  9. I prefer the more hearty sort of cake to the overly decorated one. I love apple and date cake, carrot cake, orange almond cake…. and I also do love a coffee sponge..

    Cupcakes are not really my thing although I agree they are fun to make.

    I guess it is the cake I prefer to the icing (although I am not averse to a little icing!)….

  10. I love the decorated cupcakes. Nothing perfect than a portable piece of cake.

    but I like the rustic kind of cake.

    How do you make the meringue topping for your white chocolate cupcakes, I cant find a recipe anywhere.

  11. I’m a visual buyer and it will depend on my mood for the day.

    However, sometimes I make a wrong choice and I end up with a dry or a feeling that an ingredient if missing

    Because I love eating baked goods, I tend to go for over the top most times :-)

  12. I’m visual buyer – so it’s going to depend on where I am, and what my mood is for the day!

    Sometimes though I make quite the wrong choice because that day I might be thinking “over the top looking” and then it turns out not be great; a bit dry or just a feeling ‘something is missing’